Australian Jazz Quintet: At the Varsity Drag (1956) 2000

At the Varsity Drag

Track list:

A1 01. Alone Together (Schwartz, Dietz) 2:09
A2 02. Koala (Holman) 3:09
A3 03. That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain) 3:12
A4 04. Affaire d’Amour (Holman) 3:08
A5 05. The Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers, Hart) 3:08
A6 06. Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Scherman) 3:53

B1 07. The Thrill Is Gone (Brown, Henderson) 2:45
B2 08. New South Wail (Flory) 2:45
B3 09. Few Get It (Schmidt) 2:59
B4 10. So Nice (Holman) 3:09
B5 11. Varsity Drag (DeSylva, Brown, Henderson) 2:45
B6 12. It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hart) 2:42


Australian Jazz Quartet [AJQ]:
Dick Healey: alto sax, flute
Errol Buddle: tenor sax, bassoon
Jack Brokensha: vibes
Bryce Rhode: piano
Frankie Capp: drums
Jimmy Gannon: bass

Released: 1956 | Label: Bethlehem
Released: 2000 | Label: Rhino R2 75911

Compiled and Remastered by Tom Moulton, Greg Vaughn at Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs (N.Y.)

Recorded: in Hollywood, California ; July, 1956

Original Liner Notes: Joseph P. Muranyi
Supplemental Liner Notes: Joseph F. Laredo

Original Cover Design: Burt Goldblatt

Reissue Package Design: Lyn Bradley
Reissue Package Design Assistance: Graphix Express
Reissue Project co-ordination: Abbey Anna
Reissue Project co-ordination assistant: Jaclyn Levine


In the mid-’50s, the Australian Jazz Quartet were considered an unusual group since, in addition to piano, bass, and drums, their instrumentation had alto or flute, tenor or bassoon, and vibes.
The band featured their own sly wit, which is often in evidence on this collection of tunes, particularly on Varsity Drag.
In addition to seven standards (including “Alone Together,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “It Might As Well Be Spring”), the Aussies play three songs by Bill Holman, one from Med Flory, and an obscurity.
The blend of bassoon, flute, and vibes in some sections is quite memorable even if the music overall was not all that innovative.
Although a touch lightweight (with each of the selections clocking in around three minutes apiece), the results are enjoyable.
~Scott Yanow